Infected wounds: signs and symptoms

By March 22, 2017infections
animated internal infected wound formation

When you’re healing from a wound of any kind to your skin, it’s important to be on the lookout for infection in your wounds.

Infections in injuries or wounds can happen in the wound or in mucous membranes (like the inside of the nose or mouth).

They can come after any type of skin problem, including:  

  • A bite
  • A sting
  • A tattoo
  • A piercing

Symptoms of an infection in your wound could include the following:

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth (heat) around the affected area.
  • Red streaks coming out of the infected area (a sign that the infection is in your blood stream)
  • Pus or other discolored drainage from the wound
  • Fever (If your fever is 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, there’s a good chance you have an infection.)
  • General discomfort, illness, uneasiness and you can’t pinpoint why


How do infections happen in wounds?

Infections in wounds can come from the following:

  • Your own skin bacteria
  • Outside bacteria (bacteria from the environment)
  • Bacteria on the object that punctured you in the first place

If you have an object in your wound, you are at a higher risk for infection, and you are also at a higher risk for infection if you have any of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Any disease that compromises your immune system

It’s also worth noting that some parts of the body have more naturally occurring bacteria, like the genital and anal area, skin folds, and the webs between your toes. If you have a wound in any of these areas, you are also at a higher risk for infection.

What happens if you have an infection deep inside your wound?

It’s possible that you’ll have an infection, but it will happen deeper inside your wound instead of closer to the surface.

When that happens, the pain and swelling could be more intense, and it will likely feel like it is deeper inside your skin.

What also happens sometimes is that your skin over a puncture or wound will heal, but the infection pops up under the healed skin. When this occurs, you might end up with a pocket of pus (also known as abscess), deep inside your wound.

The best way to avoid infections in your wounds is to make sure you keep them clean. Change your bandages often. It’s imperative that you do so.

If you think you might have an infected wound, call your doctor or stop by an Urgent Care clinic today.